From: Molly Kilete, Abuja
A four-day training exercise aimed at consolidating the combat survival and physical fitness for female officers and soldiers of the the Guards Brigade, Nigerian Army, has ended in Abuja.
The training, which was in line with the Brigade’s training directive for 2017, was also aimed at equipping the female soldiers to attain high sense of discipline and regimentation, test their endurance skills as well as improve their leadership qualities.
Participants were drawn from the five units under the Brigade namely 177, 176, 102, 7 Guards Battalion and the Guards Brigade Garrison.
The week-long exercise featured Silent Drill, Map Reading/use of Global Positioning System (GPS), Change of Quarter Guard, Skill at ARM, weapons handling and route march.
It also featured stripping and assembling of weapons with the female soldiers blindfolded, and using AK-47 Riffles, FN Riffles and General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG).
In his address at the occasion, the Director Engineering Services at the Army Headquarters, Brig.-Gen. K.O. Kadiri, while commending the Brigade for organising the competition, specifically for its female personnel, said the performance of the soldiers was an assurance of the capability of the Nigerian Army to effectively defend and protect the territorial integrity of the nation.
He said, unlike in the past where female personnel were relegated to serve as tea girls, caterers and medicals, among others, the female soldiers in today’s Nigerian army could not be underestimated in their assigned roles.
Gen. Kadiri also said the professional display and handing of weapons which is one of the major requirements of a professional soldier, exhibited by the female personnel, showed that they were mentally-alert, physically-fit and combat- ready for deployment at the shortest possible notice and urged them to keep it up.
At the end of the competition, 102/176, took the first position, while 177, came second, 7, Guards, came third, while Guards Brigade Garison took fourth position.
Dorcas Ezekiel, emerged the best overall winner in stripping and assembling of AK-47, Riffle in three seconds, Lance Corporal Ololade Gabriel, second with five seconds while Gabriel Olubukola, emerged best overall in stripping and assembling of GPMG, in three seconds.